THE ROYAL ASCOT IN NUMBERS
English thing to wear a hat. Tradition and culture are inherent in Asian cultures so it’s great that the English have this tradition,” she says. Regarded as one of the most beautiful women in the world, Aishwarya is stunning in person. Her skin is creamy smooth, hair luxurious, but it’s her eyes that mesmerise. “Aishwarya truly represents our slogan,” says Capelli. “Our ambassadors embody our identity, our image around the world. We may interpret the concept of elegance differently but we all understand the term as that inner disposition found in our hearts.”
Ascot Philip Treacy and Grace Jones stories, Capelli tells us about the moment he met the Queen for the first time this year. “I had to present her with a watch and she wanted to put it on at once. I fitted it to her wrist myself and my hands were shaking. She made a big impression on me.”
The first race starts just as we were finishing our desserts. I turn to Capelli for tips on how to pick a winner. “I read the predictions, look at the horse’s star ratings, and check to see who the jockey is. If I know them, I may place my bet on that horse,” he says. “Of course you can also pick a horse whose name you like or your favourite number.” I have a look at the line-up of horses and decide that Animal Kingdom with its five-star rating would make a good bet. The race starts and the crowd cheers. The thunderous sound of hooves hitting the green gets louder and reverberate around the Grand Stand. I clutch my bet ticket as the horses draw to the finish but alas, my horse was nowhere close.
Three races on, I finally win small on a horse named Parbold d who came in third ird place. Perhaps I should take Aishwarya’s advice. “I’m not betting on any ny Longines ambassador, Kate Winslet wearing the Conquest Classic watch horse,” she told me earlier. “I don’t gamble simply because I don’t think money comes that easily. I work hard for my money!” she laughs. I spot her across the racing green, as she presented the prize for the King’s Stand Stakes race to the winner.
As we leave the races, a fellow member of the press asked if I had any luck at all. I told him I’d won £8 and he said: “Count yourself lucky! Not many people win anything, if at all.” I smile. The Royal Ascot was everything that I’d expected it to be – elegant, stylish, and simply unforgettable.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan alongside Juan- Carlos Capelli and Katrina Jones, brand director UK, presenting the prize to the winning jockey Johnny Murtagh
Cai Mei Khoo